Advice on ANR headsets for passengers

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Roger Wyatt, May 30, 2022.

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  1. Roger Wyatt

    Roger Wyatt Pre-Flight

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    Having just put money down on a Cherokee, I told my daughter I would get her an ANR headset. I have a RuggedAir cheap one (passive), but after an hour my head is buzzing with them and she is uncomfortable too. I'm looking for something that doesn't break the bank since they won't be used all the time. Just want to make her more comfortable and when the time comes, I'll upgrade to a Lightspeed for her and make these the passenger #2 set.
     
  2. Jackk

    Jackk Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Just get her a music ANR from Walmart

    she won’t find the comms as interesting as most pilots would think
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2022
  3. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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  4. RudyP

    RudyP Cleared for Takeoff

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    This. My wife wears AirPods max in the plane because she wants to listen to music, watch movies, etc and she couldn’t care less about the piloty stuff. It’s quiet enough back there that a headset isn’t required anyway.
    65E83BB5-4731-4E88-AD13-CD299FD880B2.jpeg
     
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  5. FPK1

    FPK1 Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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  6. kaiser

    kaiser Line Up and Wait

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    It's a bit more, but my pax headsets are Bose QC25 + N Flight Mic kit ($150+$250 respectively). This is nice because I can steal the Bose for commercial flights.
     
  7. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    https://www.headsetsinc.com/aviation-headsets/

    I have had only one headset for the last 20+ years from the deep cold of Alaska to the heat of the high desert. Service after the sale is fantastic. Whenever I had a problem, I called, part sent and I did the repair myself.

    Or buy the DIY kit and convert your passive into active noise cancelling headset.

    Might give them a look for another option.
     
  8. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    My wife deserves the good stuff. She has Zulu 2s.
     
  9. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    My wife and I have our own headsets (Tango and Clarity Aloft). I've got two Zulu.3s in the back seat for spares/passenger and a Pilot Avionics kids headset for when the grandkids go flying.
     
  10. TheFB

    TheFB Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The Faro G2 ANRs on Amazon are solid have worked for me for 5+ years.
     
  11. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Yup. Got one of those. Probably going to get another.
     
  12. NordicDave

    NordicDave Pattern Altitude

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    @Roger Wyatt

    Not much ruins an otherwise successful flight for a passenger or new flyer's experience more than cheap ANR headsets or passive headsets with heavy clamping.

    For safety sake we need to communicate with our passengers. Certainly for emergencies and also to answer routine questions.

    I appreciate likely I'm in the minority, however everyone onboard deserves a comfortable cabin experience. My plane has a mix of Bose A20 and Lightspeed ZULU III's.
     
  13. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    I have those as well as its what I bought before I went to the Bose. I've found that with the Faro's the mic has to be almost in your mouth in order to talk however, those are my passenger headset.
     
  14. nrpetersen

    nrpetersen Line Up and Wait

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    I have also had impressive reduction with the Headsets-Inc kit - installed in my David Clark H10-40 about 25 years ago. Being an engineer, and comparing an analog rejection system, it would seem like they would be better rejecting random vibration (especially at frequencies below say 200 Hz) vs repetitive noise in a recursive all-digital system. I was never able to compare the two methods however. Has someone here done this? The installation/modification was not very simple however.
     
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  15. 40YearDream

    40YearDream Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I've been using the Headsets Inc. diy kit for the past year & half. Works very well, but I found the extra battery box a nuisance. Modified it to have the battery mount to the headband. Now looks extremely "MacGiver'd " but I don't care.
     
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  16. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I have known a couple other folks that did that and were happy.
     
  17. nrpetersen

    nrpetersen Line Up and Wait

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    I had a kit intercom in our 172M from Jim Wier of RST Electronics. The advantage of kit stuff is that you end up with a schematic. I added a small zener diode to the RST package to get 9 V to power the HI headset from there even though HI tech later told me that wouldn't work. I couldn't detect any problems (?) with performance or noise or ? Made a nice installation with the Intercom sitting on the cabin floor immediately behind the fuel selector.
     
  18. WillFly4Food

    WillFly4Food Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I use a Zulu 3 and the wife has a Sierra. Both are very comfortable and perform well. I got the Sierra from pigpenracing. He shipped it quickly and the headset was in great condition.
     
  19. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Buy her a good ANR headset. Consumer headphones are not the same and are not made for the intense noise a piston airplane makes. Especially for kids or a SO who will be doing multiple flights, why expose them to any more harmful noise than necessary?
     
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  20. Roger Wyatt

    Roger Wyatt Pre-Flight

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    I think I’m just going to pony up for a pair of Sierras. They are comfortable for long trips. She will enjoy flying more and we will take more trips if she enjoys it.

    Thanks for all the advice!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  21. JVerb

    JVerb Pre-Flight

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    UFQ ANRs off amazon. I used a set during training and now it's my backup. They're extremely good for the money, and the new versions have bluetooth input, too.
     
  22. chemgeek

    chemgeek En-Route

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    I treated myself to a Zulu 3 and the wife got my old Zulu original, which still works great. She learned to fly with a DC H10-13.4 many moons ago, but it's just too uncomfortable for trips. Plus there is no substitute for ANR.
     
  23. OneCharlieTango

    OneCharlieTango Line Up and Wait

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    It always rubs me the wrong way when people say "I got myself some hoity-toity headset. I'm looking for cheap crap for occasional passengers." Passengers are your honored guests; give them the good stuff and wear the junk yourself. Better yet, do like the OP and get good headsets for every seat.
     
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  24. WDD

    WDD En-Route

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    One Tango Charlie is spot on. Get something that helps your daughter enjoy flying with you.

    Suggest buy a used Zulu from Pig Pen Racing here on this board. Quality, durable, comfortable, can get blue tooth music. She’ll not outgrow them. A used Zulu is so much better than a new off brand model and will cost about the same.

    Got such a second pair for wife - makes flying much better for her.
     
  25. Pinecone

    Pinecone Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I always love the advice, "I got X and they are great, and you should get them."

    Hmm, if you only have tried X, how do you know they are great? You have ONE data point.

    Now, if you have used X, Y, Z, and A, and find that X is the best, that is helpful info.
     
  26. woodchucker

    woodchucker Pattern Altitude

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    For anr light speed at a bit of a discount contact @pigpenracing
     
  27. woodchucker

    woodchucker Pattern Altitude

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    Awww it’s been covered. Bought two sets through him. No regrets.
     
  28. woodchucker

    woodchucker Pattern Altitude

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    Have two light speeds. Both great. Also have DC one x. Also great!
     
  29. WDD

    WDD En-Route

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    To add to Pinecone, got to find one that works for you. I went to a local shop and tried on Bose, DC X, and Lightspeed. Lightspeed fit the best.

    This is the third headset model I’ve owned. The other two - clarity aloft and passive DC - do not recommend.
     
  30. pigpenracing

    pigpenracing En-Route

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    I am done.... No longer selling headsets.
     
  31. Daleandee

    Daleandee En-Route

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    Absolutely correct. I've tried DC passive, Lightspeed passive, older Lightspeed ANR, & newer Lightspeed ANR, and have found that my Clarity Aloft with different ear tips works the best for me as far as comfort and noise reduction go. But it's exactly as you say ... everyone needs to find what works for them personally!
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2022
  32. L J Donelson

    L J Donelson Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Picking up on this thread as it's very similar to my own question.

    When I started flying lessons I bought a used set of DC's (so old they do not have model numbers on them). Generally they work great except on longer x-ctry flying, then it starts to press on my ears. If I wear sunglasses then it's really a bit much. The price was great and pleased with the quality even though passive.

    I've considered purchasing the Clarity Aloft for lighter weight and no pressure on the ear/head. The idea of in the ear does not bother me. But, an older CFI who did a recent checkride for me at a new flight facility offered to sell a Lightspeed Zulu (1st gen) and case. I don't know much other than they are discontinued. He says he paid $850, they were for his wife but she rarely flies and because of health issues not interested in flying.

    Thoughts on one vs. the other?

    What price would be fair for Zulu?
     
  33. Mahneuvers

    Mahneuvers Line Up and Wait

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    Sorry if this has been said. I bought this which turned my 25 year old DC 13.4 headset into something very comfortable for my passengers.
     
  34. WDD

    WDD En-Route

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    Oh shoot - had great experience buying from you. Hope all is well. Still a great source info I hope.
     
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  35. WDD

    WDD En-Route

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    I used Clairity aloft. Kept breaking, loosing coms. I want to the Zulu

    So I’d recommend the Zulu over the Clarity.

    How much? Ask pig pen racing - I bought a Zulu 1 pair from him two years ago as a mater of fact.
     
  36. L J Donelson

    L J Donelson Pre-takeoff checklist

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    He's asking $400
     
  37. Shaun Dawson

    Shaun Dawson Filing Flight Plan

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    I usually lurk, but this is something I feel like I actually know about, so I’ll weigh in here.

    I have experience with Lightspeed, David Clark, Bose A20, and Bose QC 35 using the NFlight Nomad mic, along with a litany of passive headsets. Moreover, I fly in a wide range of GA planes, including an RV-7, a Great Lakes biplane, Yak-52, Cirrus, and Citation Mustang, as well as towing gliders.

    The best of these headsets is definitely the Bose A20. It’s very good. The ANR is excellent, and I’ve made phone calls from the plane over Bluetooth where the recipient didn’t know I was in an airplane. The price tag is eye-watering, though, and they aren't exactly robust. My peer group and I have spent a lot of money sending headsets back for refurbishment, which is also way more expensive than it should be. I don’t find them suitable for the more hard core environments like the biplane or the Yak-52.

    In my opinion, the Lightspeed headsets are fine, but nothing to write home about. The ANR is adequate, but not great, and I’ve found them to be rather flimsy. David Clark are great passive headsets, but my experience with their ANR has been pathetic. I love my DC ANR headset, and I have it in a helmet and use it in the Yak and the Biplane, and it works well in those challenging environments, but it's essentially passive.

    My favorite of all of these is my NFlight Nomad mic, paired with a set of Bose QC 35s. Bose will tell you that the consumer-grade hardware in the QC-series isn't as robust as that in the A20, which is kinda true. But, The fact that it's consumer-grade hardware cuts both ways. On the one hand, the units aren't as robust as the A20. On the other, they last for a really long time on a single charge, can be charged at any USB port, and aren't particularly expensive to replace when they crap out. Plus, they're light. I must have an unusually sensitive head top or something, because after about 2 hours of wearing the A20s, my head starts to bother me seriously. The QC 35s are much less intrusive in that way. I wear these things all day sometimes. That's a particularly nice feature for muggles, since they care more about creature comforts than we grizzled veterans do.

    One drawback is that the QC-35s only last me about two years, and then they start to go belly up. I'm on my second set of QC 35s now, and the first one gave out completely in the left cup, and the second one is starting to crackle on takeoff. I'm probably harder on them than most people are. I have a buddy who taxied over his, and they still work fine. Another drawback is that they have internal batteries, so need to be charged periodically. You can't just leave them in your plane and keep a bunch of spare batteries around. This isn't a problem for me, because I use them daily for music and the phone, but it might be an issue for people who don't do that. I hear the Sony headphones work well with the mics, too, but I haven't tried them.

    For passenger use, the QC 35 is a great choice. You can add in an NFlight mic if they want to be plugged into the intercom and listen to ATC, or they can use it with their phone or tablet or whatever.

    My $0.02,

    Shaun
     
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  38. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Great post Shaun, but the standard you have, feeling you need to know what you are talking about before posting, is way too lofty for here. Just post when you get the urge, and you'll be fine.
     
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  39. Shaun Dawson

    Shaun Dawson Filing Flight Plan

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    :). Will do!
     
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  40. WDD

    WDD En-Route

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    FIFY
     
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